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How do I get my DD to stay asleep in her 'big girl bed'.

She is now 23 mths old & has trapped her legs between the slats a couple of times which has been distressing as she couldn't free them herself. We also have a 4 mth DS who is needing the cot. To keep our sanity, we have been cheating so far by letting her get on the edge of sleep in the cot & them moving her into the bed. She stays there for a couple of hours then get up & comes into our room 'to play'.We have both tried the same approach - big girl bed for a big girl, camping out at the both of the bed wait for her to crash or sitting outside her room - but she see's it as a game.

Jane ...
Answer: Hi, If her legs are getting trapped then this has become a safety issue and you need to transition her fully into her bed. Ideally with toddler rails or a mattress on the floor so that she's protected from harm and falling. Another issue is that you need the cot for your baby so really you do need to progress. She will follow your lead on this so if you are clear and consistent and only use the bed for all of her settling and sleep periods then she will learn what's expected of her. Follow a regular pre bed settling routine and try not to vary it. You and your partner will need to be consistent with her. If she's coming out of her room and getting off the bed repeatedly then you could consider using gates in her doorway so that she can see out but can't actually get out of her room. Read up on the toddler in a bed/camping out methods on the Huggies site for really comprehensive explanations of how to manage this. Ultimately, if you are clear with her and patient she will learn what's involved, but it's important that you don't stay with her until she's fully asleep on her own bed. If you do, this will delay her learning to settler herself to sleep and she'll need you to be with her for much longer than if you "challenge" her to go to sleep independently. Best Jane
Answered: 26 Jan 2015